Thursday, March 6, 2008

Lightbulb Moment!

Yes, it's the lightbulb moment I was writing about in my last post! I actually can't believe it happened almost on request.

The problem was that my characters weren't behaving themselves, or rather, I felt I was losing a sense of them as characters. What resulted was a bland, tensionless disaster of a chapter. My friend/critique partner pointed this out, and though it was painful to admit there was a lot wrong with the chapter, I sucked it up and made changes.

What needed to happen wasn't obvious at first. I let her comments simmer in my head, and it didn't actually take that long for the ideas to start germinating.

My lightbulb moment was that I hadn't lost my characters, but rather, that the chapter wasn't working because their actions were OUT of character. Once I figured out the natural thing for them to do, I could hear the story's engine revving once more. All sorts of possibilities grew out of the one change I made to the chapter. Now I have options. Before the realisation, the story was laying flat and stagnant, with hardly a sign of life.

I have re-written the chapter and received the tick of approval from AbFab. Right now, I'm at the start of chapter 7, right smack in the middle of the novel. The characters are doing what comes naturally and it's given me a believable 'Point Of No Return', which in the previous version (the dud chapter) was nowhere in sight.

7 comments:

Lisa66 said...

And now it's great!

Tracey said...

Two things you hit on here that resonated with me:

(i) the power of the good critique

(ii) the power of the subconscious.

And you harnessed one to the other. Isn't it great when it works like that? Good for you for having the courage to suck it up, as you say, and re-envision it. Sometimes it is really hard to do, but sounds like it was worth it.

Scribbly said...

It was worth it. Now I'm knee-deep in the next writing muddle, hoping once again for the lightbulb to come on. Feel a bit like there's a power shortage, though.

Leah-Mae's Scribbles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leah-Mae's Scribbles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scribbly said...

Thanks for your lovely comment, Leah-Mae. It came to my e-mail, but strangely does not appear here. I appreciate your praise and wish you luck with your writing.

Leah-Mae's Scribbles said...

Sorry about the last two...
trouble with my account-thingy.
Anyhow,
Just to let you know,
You're not a WANNABE WRITER. period. end of discussion.
YOUR WRITING IS PURE BRILLIANCE, but, and decide now, ARE YOU A WRITER OR NOT?

Nobody should even have to tell you.
It stays with you, nomatter what you do.
When it flows, its like reaching into the sky and pulling down fire,its the inspirational equivalent of peddling dope.

There are many writers in this world, but very few natrual ones.
Its either a way of life, or a job.
I have no doubt, but I'll ask anyway.

So now, ARE YOU A WRITER?

P.S I agree with Lisa66, 'tis great.